Conclusion What is a Rocket Stove? The rocket stove is a solution for cooking at the campground - or even home if you like, I suppose. And it is efficient. How Does a Rocket Stove Work? These stoves are basically a smaller horizontal cylinder attached to a larger vertical cylinder. The vertical cylinder is the chimney, and the horizontal one the fuel magazine.
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They are designed to minimize the amount of fuel you need, and most particularly the amount of smoke you create, in order to get a comfortable and practical heat for most indoor purposes.
A faster draft in the heat riser might lead to unburned smoke being pulled through too quickly, and incomplete combustion. A larger fuel box means the burn tunnel becomes a bottleneck. Yes, it gets good mixing, but the stuff queued up behind it in the fuel box can release smoke into the room. Hybrid rocket mass heaters with larger wood boxes tend to smoke, either into the room, or you put a door on it and it smokes out into the world from the other end.
You need really good tinkering to keep good draft, and complete combustion, working around a larger wood box. I have never seen one that was an improvement on the brick J-tube, for smokeless performance. They have a straightforward RMH in another building and just like it better.
A similar hybrid run by a forester friend in southern Oregon works fine, so it may just be a problem of that particular woodstove or the way we set it up. We helped a friend build a sauna heater that had a too-small heat riser because that was what he had, and nobody caught it. Your big-riser idea might work better. They just have to both be at least bigger than the burn tunnel. For simplicity, I tend to recommend sticking with the even-cross-section throughout, because we know it works.
Or tweak it once you have a reference for what is possible, and see if it makes it work better or worse. Side-by-side with a model super-efficient woodstove, it suddenly becomes obvious how much cleaner RMH exhaust really is. Try the Everything Combo as a reference guide.
One is that the combustion that takes place is far more complete in an RMH, due to the increased draft and insulated burn chamber. An RMH can consequently be up to eight times more efficient, requiring less wood for the same amount of heat. This also results in there being less ash and smoke. The second factor that makes an RMH so superior is the thermal mass that encases the components that heat up. As biomass is burned and the RMH is heated, it transfers heat to the thermal mass adobe, dirt, sand, even water. Although it takes a while to heat up, that heat will last hours after the fire has been extinguished.
How to Build a Rocket Stove: 7 Plans